Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Well, this is it. Another year has already come and gone. Most days I feel like the hours go by so slowly, but as I look back on the passing year I can't remember where all the time went. 2012 felt like a year of goodbyes for me. I said goodbye to one of my greatest friends, Katelyn Baker, in May, and learned a few months later that she couldn't return to IU when school rolled back around. I said goodbye to another great friend and roommate, Kaitlyn Klabunde, as she set off for Michigan State to be closer to Jimmy and her family (and, of course, Lola and Moose). I missed saying goodbye to a good friend and ex-classmate, Natalie Kamp, when her life was cut much too short last Halloween. That was a goodbye I didn't think I'd have to make so soon.

I also said goodbye to my first year at college. I said goodbye to the vomit-stained carpet (thank you, Sark) and tall double bunk-beds of 1165; I said goodbye to living on a floor where Ries' guitar, Smoke's singing, and David's ability to create awkward moments/go days without sleep were nightly occurrences. I said goodbye to one of the greatest times in my life, my first year away from home and my first year at IU. While it wasn't always perfect, it was a memorable experience, one that taught me so much about my life and relationships.

And speaking of relationships, I said goodbye to David McCracken much, much too often. {Just a sidenote: getting into a relationship with someone who lives 2,000 miles away from you, two months before starting college, is not the smartest decision in the world. So if you're planning to do this, you'd better have a whole lotta love for the person at the other end of those 2,000 miles.} If I gave you a dollar for every day we didn't see each other this year, and then took away a dollar for each day we did, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. Long distance is not a fun time, but if it's worth it, you'll make those goodbyes count 'til you can share the next hello.

The one goodbye that sticks with me most from this year is the one I never got the chance to say. One of the most beautiful, inspiring women I have ever met or could ever hope to emulate was Josephine Miranda, who by some saving grace also happened to be a part of my life and my family. My Auntie Jo instilled in me at a young age a love for California so deep I never wanted to leave; being there meant being near her. When she died of pulmonary fibrosis in late March of this year, a big piece of California and everything it's ever meant to me died with her.

But goodbyes aren't always a bad thing. Just as Newton's Law holds that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, my "law" is that every goodbye leads to another hello. Each time I hug David goodbye in some airport terminal, I remind myself that this goodbye will put us one step closer to the next hello. Even a permanent goodbye, like losing my Auntie Jo, isn't so permanent after all. Her spirit lives on in the places she's been and the people she's known. Flipping through old photographs of my gorgeous great-aunt (who never seemed to age), while enjoying lunch and reminiscing with family at one of her favorite old sandwich shoppes in LA, brought her to life in every way but physically.

2012 was a wild, exciting, and unpredictable year. And for all the goodbyes I've been saying, maybe 2013 will be a year chock-full of hellos. Whatever happens in these next 365 days before the clock strikes midnight in 2014, I resolve to look on these upcoming experiences with an open heart and peaceful mind.

Goodbye, 2012. Hello, 2013.

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